This is the time of year for deep cleaning, for finally getting to the deepest, darkest corners of your home that have been neglected for months, or maybe even years. It’s time to get a fresh start. One sure way to do this is by purging your home of clutter.
Even if you’ve cleaned your entire house from top to bottom, it doesn’t feel very clean if you’ve got junk piled up in every room. Not to mention it’s so much easier to clean your house when you don’t have all that junk getting in your way. A good clutter purge can be therapeutic and totally freeing.
I’m guilty of holding on to things for much longer than I should. I can be very sentimental when it comes to stuff, so I often find a reason to keep things even if I never use them. But I’ve learned a few tricks along the way that have helped me to let go, and I’m going to share those with you today.
Decluttering can be an overwhelming task, especially if you’ve never gone through a major purge before. To make it a little easier, I’ve broken it down into a seven day project. Follow this guide to have your entire house decluttered in just one week!
This is a long post with lots of information, so be sure to pin it for later if you don’t have the time to focus right now (just use my Pin It button at the bottom of this page). Whenever you’re ready, make yourself a cup of coffee, grab a notepad, and get settled in. You don’t want to miss these tips!
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Before you get started, you may want to have a few things on hand –
- Garbage bags. For obvious reasons, and for storing anything that you want to donate.
- Storage baskets. No matter how much you get rid of, you will more than likely still end up with those random items that you really don’t know what to do with. Keep these items in their own “miscellaneous” storage basket. I like to have some in different sizes. These rattique baskets* are great for storing inside cabinets, while these cotton storage bins* work well as a “catch all” spot for bigger items.
- Drawer organizers.* These are great for keeping drawers neat and tidy. You can also find small plastic baskets at the dollar store, which work just as well.
- Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.
Day 1 – Wardrobe
The wardrobe is a great place to start. I’m sure all of us have at least a few items in our closet that we never wear. When deciding whether or not I want to keep a piece of clothing, I ask myself three questions – Does it fit? Have I worn it in the last year? Do I absolutely love it?
Spend day one going through your closet and answering these questions honestly about each piece of clothing that you own. If it doesn’t fit, get rid of it. Don’t hold on to it in case it does fit one day. Only keep the clothes that fit you today.
If you haven’t worn something in the last year, that’s probably another good sign that it’s time to let it go. The exception to this would be things like a suit or formal dress. You may not have been to a formal event this year, but you’ll still want to hold on to these for future events (as long as it fits, and you still love it).
Finally, ask yourself if you really love this piece of clothing. Chances are if you answered no to the last question, the answer to this will probably be a no as well. Do you ever feel like you have so many clothes yet nothing to wear? Yeah, me too. This happens when you hold on to stuff just because, even if you don’t enjoy it anymore. There’s no sense in keeping things that you don’t love. It’s better to have a few outfits that make you feel great about yourself than a hundred outfits that just don’t work for you.
You can also ask yourself these same three questions when it comes to jewelry, purses, and other accessories in your wardrobe. It may be hard to let things go at first, but I promise that once you get started, you’ll feel a huge weight lifting off your shoulders.
For some extra help with tackling your wardrobe, check out my post How to Freshen Up Your Wardrobe on Any Budget.
Day 2 – Bathrooms
Now that your wardrobe is cleared out, let’s move on to the bathrooms for day two. You may be surprised at what you find hiding in your bathroom drawers that you completely forgot about.
Getting rid of bathroom items should be fairly straightforward. Basically you’re looking for things like expired hygiene products, old toothbrushes, dried up nail polish, etc. Get rid of anything you don’t use or anything that’s just plain trash, and consider doing a quick and easy bathroom drawer makeover when putting back the items that are staying.
***Tip – Use the FDA’s guidelines on proper disposal of unused medications.
Day 3 – Kitchen
The biggest focus in your kitchen is probably going to be the refrigerator. Now is the time to toss those items that got pushed to the back and forgotten about for God knows how long. Check the expiration dates on everything in the fridge and pantry. Toss any expired, moldy, or unidentifiable items. This is also the time to give the inside of the fridge a good cleaning and, if you’re feeling ambitious, give it a makeover. I really love these refrigerator labels from Clean & Scentsible, and I am absolutely obsessed with these fridge coasters*. Who knew the inside of a fridge could look so pretty? Is it weird that I feel really excited to clean out my refrigerator now?
After you’ve tackled the fridge and the pantry, take a little time to go through your cabinets looking for dishes that never get used, duplicate cooking utensils, Tupperware with missing lids, etc. Donate any items that are no longer wanted or used in your kitchen. Don’t worry about little knick knacks or decorations just yet. We’ll be getting to those tomorrow.
Day 4 – Living Room/Decor
Today is the day to go through your living room as well as the rest of your house specifically looking for decor items that you no longer want. In my opinion, the best way to do this is to simply look at each item and ask yourself, does this item make me happy? If the answer is no, let it go. Just like with your wardrobe, there is no sense in filling your home with items that you do not enjoy.
Don’t guilt yourself into keeping something because you spent a lot of money on it, or someone gave it to you as a gift. Just because you liked something at one point doesn’t mean you have to like it forever. Acknowledge the fact that the item has served its purpose in your home, and now it’s time for it to bring joy to someone else. You can donate these items or sell them in consignment stores or on local Facebook groups.
Day 5 – Electronics
Day five has been set aside for any and all electronics. This is the time to go through your collection of DVDs, CDs, video games, etc. Donate or sell anything that is no longer used. You should also be looking for old cell phones, cameras, chargers, and cords. I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to getting rid of electronics, as most of them belong to my husband, so I like to have him around when I do this part. Many times I don’t know what a certain cord or charger belongs to, but he can tell me if we need to keep it or not. I’ve started keeping any miscellaneous electronic items such as this in their own storage basket. That way they can all be easily located and tucked away instead of cluttering up our house. I have a few like these rattique storage baskets* that I keep inside of our TV stand. They work perfectly for storing those random cords and electronics that I don’t know what to do with.
Day 6 – Paperwork
I set aside a whole day for paperwork because I know how overwhelming it can be. Start by simply sorting through the paperwork. Clear a space somewhere and start creating piles. One pile can be for junk that simply needs to be thrown out/recycled, another for papers that need to be shredded, and another for anything that needs to be filed away. Once you’ve collected all paperwork and organized it into these piles, it will be much easier to sort through. Start with the easy stuff first, then work your way up to the important papers that require more attention.
One of my number one tips for an organized home and life is to stop paperwork in it’s tracks. Moving forward, make it a goal for yourself to address incoming paperwork every night, or at least once a week. This will significantly reduce clutter and will save you from having to do a huge paperwork purge in the future. I always keep a metal basket* like this one somewhere where I can easily place any incoming paperwork. That way if I don’t have time to deal with it right away, it still has a place to go instead of spread out on the dining room table.
Day 7 – Office/Craft/Miscellaneous
Once you’ve made it to day seven, your house should already be feeling so much more organized. Day seven is basically for anything that may have been missed previously during the week. Look for things like craft supplies, gift wrapping items, office tools, pet items, etc. Basically anything that is still out of place. Get rid of whatever is broken, worn out, or not used. Then, make sure to find a place for everything that you are keeping. If you can’t find a home for something, reconsider whether or not it should be kept. Day seven may also be a good day to go through and give your house a good top-to-bottom cleaning. This should be a fairly easy task now that you have decluttered your whole house!
So now that we’ve broken this down, do you think you’re ready to tackle this project? I know many of us cannot devote an entire week to this, but could you do one step each week? It’s totally okay if you have to move at a slower pace! You’ll still be making consistent progress by focusing on one task at a time.
As always, I love hearing from you. Have you started your spring cleaning yet? Let me know how it’s going! Feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email via my contact page.
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